gear favs

Gear Favs

The world of pedalboards and gear can feel like a lot if you are just starting out.

Let me walk you through it all here! I made this page as a place to show you what pedals and gear I recommend because I've gotten some questions about my pedalboard and asking for recommendations! I also made this a little different from other gear guides because I know personally that when I started getting into gear, having someone break things down into normal terms was super helpful (thank you husband!).


Pedal receommendations

How I learn what pedals I want:

Shopping for pedals can feel like a lot. There's a million out there so how do you know what's best for you?! Here are my favorite places to find new pedals that I want to try:

I used all links from Reverb.com because that's where I always shop (it's easy, you can get great used gear for awesome prices, and things always come fast). I also have met some people who work there who are awesome and that's super important to me! I also recommend supporting your local music store, looking on Craigslist, or going to the pedal company's site! Also just fyi, these are all based on what I actually like or what guitarists (who have great tone) use (aka none of these are paid or sponsored since I'm going through Reverb!). 

*This post contains affiliate links because I don’t want to be a starving musician. I just want to be a normal one!

- Reverb.com: (their blog is awesome and has so many good recommendations that are always spot on). A lot of their bigger products have amazing demos and it's also very unbiased!

- Instagram: Most guitarists will have a pic of their pedalboard somewhere (cause pedal board pics are like so cool ;) ). Definitely pay attention to any videos they post that you like the tone and see what created that sound.

- YouTube/ Demos: I love watching the demos on pedal company's sites and from YouTube. 

- Guitarists playing out: Obvi

 

gear favs

Personal Favs

Guitars

Electrics:

CLASSIC SERIES Fender '72 TELECASTER THINLINE

My tele was made in Mexico in the early 90’s, which is great because Fenders made during that time period in Mexico have a reputation for being awesome. My husband actually got it off Craigslist by trading a pedal for it (crazy right?!). My dad has had an original ‘72 blonde Thinline tele (that he bought new!) so I feel like this one is meant to be! Love the tone of this guitar and it’s super versatile. Humbucker pick-ups have a reputation for being darker than single coils, and I really like the tone of this. It works really well for everything!

Fender 'American Vintage ‘62 Stratocaster

This is my strat I got in high school so I’ve been playing it a while. It’s ocean turquoise and I have found it to be the perfect guitar for almost every occasion. It’s kind of my trusted go-to! It hardly ever goes out of tune, it is set up great, isn’t too heavy (which is important for me because I’m a Pilates instructor on the side! haha), and it’s cool looking! It has a great strat-y tone and the only downfall (that comes with all single coil pickups) is it can be a little buzz-y!

Fender Player Series Jaguar

This jag is a gorgeous (it’s the sonic red fun?!). Fender recently replaced their MIM series with these and they have better pickups and a lot of other upgraded features. This guitar also has a beautiful bright tone and is a super affordable option! If you are looking to start electric, I highly recommend the player series (they have other guitar styles too!).

American Original '60s Jaguar

Ok this jag is my FAV! I have the surf green and the control knobs are really cool on it. Basically, you can change the tone to using rhythm or lead mode which changes what tone control section you’ll use. You can also cut the bass out and switch the bridge to mute the strings (like for comping type stuff). Very fancy! The tone is bright and beautiful (great for alternative, worship, indie, jazz ,and rock type music). My only warning is because of all it’s cool features, it’s a little on the heavier side! Read more on Fender’s site here.

Note: You may see I have a lot of Fenders! That’s because 1) I love Fenders (woo!) and 2) I happen to have chosen them so far in my life! If you are looking for another type, I highly recommend Iconic Guitars (they are absolutely amazing with the nicest team imaginable!) and Veritas Guitars.

Acoustics

Orangewood Guitars Echo

Orangewood rocks!! They are a really new company and are killing it (like completely sold out not long after they opened). They are also super kind and set out to make high quality and affordable guitars for the new generation. They also give back as a company! Ok about the actual guitar- I was blown away trying this! It sounds incredible and I couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was!

Taylor 310ce

Ok so this particular one is discontinued, but you can still find them on reverb. Honestly though, you can’t go wrong with a Taylor. They are always gorgeous and classic!

Others I love!: For the newer guitarist, I love Breedlove and Recording King. I also love Martins if you are looking to invest a bit more!

 

Amps + Accessories

Before you get into any effects, a good amp is the BIGGEST factor in having good tone. Invest in this first! Different amps will make your pedals sound completely different and will make or break your tone. These are just the ones I have, but there's a ton of awesome amps out there!

Temple Board

Ok soooo I don't actually have one of these yet, but I got one for my husband for his b day and it's awesome! Your pedals lock onto the board using these plates so you don't have to use velcro. This would be nice for someone like me (with long hair, a dog, and a cat for obvious reasons).

40 watt Fender Deluxe Reissue

I love this tube amp so much! It’s great for every tone and if you can get an old one, even better! I got mine on Craigslist for like $200 because one of the tubes was broken, so definitely look out for deals!

Pedal Power 2 Plus

Good ole standard pedal power! If you are super new to setting up a pedal board, this little guy goes underneath your board and you plug all your pedals into this one power supply using power cables.

Vox AC15

)Or the AC10 or AC30). I LOVe this British amp for worship music! Used, they are never that expensive, have a beautiful tone that really cuts through and feels like they make my playing a bit brighter.

Guitar Pedals I adore 

Only my favs here! I've sorted them by effect type to make it simple. Starting out, what you need depends on the style you play. If you don't want to go the pedalboard route, I think the Boss ME- 80 Multi Effects unit is a great option. It has all the effects you'll ever need and sounds great (a good amp is important!)! My dad has used one of these for years and his tone is always awesome! You could also try the Line 6 M9 as well for a great multi effects unit. 

Reverb/ Delay

Spacey- Open- Vibey

Strymon Blue Sky Reverb

This pedal is AMAZING! It's super versatile and you can do so much with it. It you are new to pedals, Decay is the length the reverb gets held out and mix is the volume or how much of the reverb you hear. The low/ high damp is for tone. You can also save a favorite setting which is nice!

TC Electronic Flashback Mini Delay

Everything TC Electronic makes is amazing! This little pedal packs in a sound of delay-y goodness. It's very simple too which I like!

Carbon Copy Analog Delay

This is such a great analog delay because it's super easy to use and you can usually find one at a great deal (more about that here). It has a mod button too which I love (I don't use it with the mod setting on my Blue Sky however!). This adds a really great spacey delay and is super straightforward to work which is nice!

Boss RV5

All all round classic and gorgeous reverb.

Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay + Looper

A little delay, looping, and even tremolo!

Overdrive/distortion

Vintage rock- crunchy- cranked 

Wampler Hot Wired

So I didn't actually buy this pedal, but I've had it since I graduated high school (one of my dad's sweet friends gave it to me!). It's an overdrive & distortion pedal and is Brent Mason's signature pedal. It's the perfect overdrive pedal for playing country music, but it's also made to be really versatile. You can get really big, warm, fat tones out of this pedal.

Walrus Audio Voyager

This is a great light gain/ pre amp overdrive. What I have noticed about this pedal is it really cuts through and has a very bright, clean feel to it. I use it as my lowest level of overdrive and love how it sounds with my delay and reverb!

Fulltone Full-Drive 2

I use this for sort of a medium gain/ in-between overdrive. It has a really warm, full feeling overdrive and a boost! On mine the boost has been modded so I can use it without the drive being tuned on.

Ibanez TS-9 tube Screamer Classic

Such a classic!

Paul Cochrane Timmy Overdrive Pedal

Tasteful, easy to use, and very clear!

Walrus Audio 385 Overdrive

I tried this Overdrive at the NAMM show! It's vintage-y and tube amp like and when it's turned up, has an awesome compressed overdrive sound!

ETc

Other awesome pedals I love!

Boss Flanger

All my 80's guitar dreams are fulfilled with this classic flanger pedal!

Keeley Compressor Plus

This is a brand new pedal for me and it has immediately made a HUGE difference in my tone! It really makes everything sound a ton cleaner, takes out all the buzz, and gives my guitar a little punch. I don't know why I didn't by this sooner!

Ernie Ball VP Jr

I LOVE Ernie ball and they are based out of my hometown in San Luis Obispo. This volume pedal is a classic.

TC Electronic Polytune 2 Mini

Standard and wonderful tuner!

 
Guitar pedal recomendations

(Not so technical ) Pedalboard Dictionary

I wanted to break down effects in my own words for you who are starting to get into pedalboards. When I first started, what really helped me understand and learn about pedals was talking to people. Some words used to describe effects and tone are kinda another language and sometimes aren't the most intuitive! I wanted to break a few common ones down for you in case you are in this boat!

Most common pedal types:

Reverb: Have you ever sang in a concrete stairwell and noticed how different the sound is in there (this is one of my fav things about apartment life)? Well that's the sound reverb puts on things. It makes your guitar feel space-y and echo-y and like it's somewhere like a church cathedral, on the moon, or in an ocean documentary.

Delay: Delay literally repeats the notes you play. If you time it right you can sound like you're playing really fast and if you mess up, you will keep being reminded of it! Tap tempo delay is nice because you can tap in the BPM of the song so everything is synced up. 

Overdrive: Overdrive gives your guitar the sound of turning up your amp to the point that your amp can't even handle all your sick tones and starts sounding a lil bit fuzzy. The benefit of having a pedal to do this is that you won't give anyone permanent threshold damage (which is my fear!!) and you can control how much this happens. It's street name is OD so be relieved everyone is not indeed referencing drugs!

Distortion: This is a word commonly paired with overdrive. But it's different! This actually alters your sound to make it feel fuzzy/ growly. When I think of distortion I think of 80's rock gods shredding! But it's also used in a lot of other settings as well. Here's a good article for more on this.

Compression: This effect makes you sound so fresh and so clean (clean!). It basically squeezes your sound together to clean everything up by bringing up the volume of notes you play quietly and lowering the volume of notes you might be hitting too aggressively. This pedal is considered the most essential by a lot of guitarists. 

Chorus: This effect is well named in that it literally makes your guitar into it's own tiny choir. It works by cloning your note, slightly detuning or modulating one of them and adding a little delay to it. This makes for a big full sound and it was a staple effect used in 80s guitar! 

Flange: Like a chorus but more dramatic and less delay-y. You'll recognize it because it creates a woosh-y noise that sounds like its moving up and down. You may have heard it songs from Van Halen, Cindy Lauper, or The 1975. This is one of those effects I always want to use more than I should because it's too much fun! 

Tremelo: Want to add that twangy vibrato to make your guitar sound like the wild wild west? Get yo self a tremelo! 

Other helpful tidbits:

How to set up and order your signal chain guide by Strymon here

My starter pedal guide here

Temple's pedalboard planner here

Have any specific questions? Ask me here!

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